Confirmed: Brendon Hartley scores a drive in electric Formula E series
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It's been confirmed that two New Zealanders will be on the grid of next season's ABB Formula E series, following the announcement that Brendon Hartley would be joining American-based team Geox Dragon Racing.
“I’m happy to be taking on a new challenge in Formula E together with Geox Dragon racing,” he said.
“Formula E is totally different from any other race series I’ve been in, but I am hoping my experience in many categories with energy management will pay dividends and give me a head start as a rookie.
“I’ve always been a fan of street tracks and Formula E has some of the wildest I’ve seen. That together with some of the best drivers and manufacturers in the world makes it an exciting place to be.”
The announcement confirms a surprisingly packed roster for the Kiwi. Although he no longer races in Formula 1, he's still part of the paddock as a simulations pilot for Ferrari. He is also still contracted to Porsche, while also being a factory driver in Toyota's FIA World Endurance Championship line-up.
It's a curious set of circumstances. Hartley was long rumoured to be joining Porsche's Formula E team, only for that theory to be thwarted when the squad unveiled Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani as their drivers. Instead, the 29-year old will race against his former teammates.
Hartley joins the series just as fellow New Zealander Mitch Evans has started to hit his stride. After a trying first few seasons with Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Evans claimed a credible fifth-place finish in the 2018–’19 series — underscored by a memorable race win in Italy and two second-place finishes.
The 2019–’20 season kicks off at Saudi Arabia on November 22–23.